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This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 8th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution . Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution. Using graphic organizers, students will identify key points from the essays of constitutional scholars Bryan A. Stevenson and John F. Stinneford. Students will be able to trace the historic development of the 8th Amendment with help from the Common Interpretation and matters of debate essays, and use evidence from the readings to explore modern interpretation of the 8th Amendment. For students studying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, this lesson helps clarify the role of the Supreme Court and constitutional scholars in interpreting and applying the Constitution today.
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